Book Review—Security Monitoring 

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Securing the organization’s confidential data with policies and security devices is a good method to provide a feeling of safety. But without monitoring, these methods would be useless against early detection of attacks and sophisticated security threads. Most attack attempts, approximately 80 percent, come from inside an organization’s network. Regardless of size, when one knows the network and knows how to monitor it, managing security events is easier. Monitoring one’s systems can provide the advantages of discovering policy violations and early detection of attacks. Security Monitoring covers all aspects of security log monitoring.

Security Monitoring is written by security experts from Cisco Systems. They demonstrate how to detect damaging security incidents on a global network. The book is a professional reference guide and it includes how-to guidance for security monitoring, which is especially helpful for information security professionals. Chief information security officers (CISOs) will find value in the publication as they can learn more about using logs to monitor information systems.

The book is written at an intermediate to advanced level. The authors expect readers to have a basic understanding of security concepts and some system security experience.

A reference guide, Security Monitoring is organized into eight chapters with an index. These chapters together offer a simple, six-step process to improve network monitoring. These steps will help the reader:
  • Develop policies—Define rules, regulations and monitoring criteria.
  • Know one’s network—Build knowledge of the infrastructure with network telemetry.
  • Select one’s targets—Define the subset of infrastructure to be monitored.
  • Choose event sources—Identify event types needed to discover policy violations.
  • Feed and tube—Collect data, generate alerts and tune systems using contextual information.
  • Maintain dependable event sources—Prevent critical gaps in collecting and monitoring events.

The book provides brief definitions of monitoring, policy-based monitoring and implementing these monitoring policies as well as examples and real-life scenarios of security monitoring. It also includes a checklist for monitoring setup.

Security Monitoring includes much how-to information to ensure a better understanding, provides diagrams of systems and configuration structures, and gives detailed system command sets to enable generation of security logs on systems.

Editor’s Note

Security Monitoring is available from the ISACA Bookstore. For information, see the ISACA Bookstore Supplement in this Journal, visit, e-mail or telephone +1.847.660.5650.

Reviewed by Tansu Gumus, CISA, CCNA
an IT auditor at Turk Ekonomi Bank A.S., Istanbul, Turkey. He has five years of experience in the IT auditing field. In his current role, Gumus is responsible for auditing the bank’s IT operations and those of its subsidiaries. He holds the COBIT® Foundation Certificate.

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